How to Shift a 9, 10, 13, 15 or 18-Speed Transmission | Truck Driving

How to Shift a 9, 10, 13, 15 or 18-Speed Transmission | Truck Driving


Hi there smart drivers. Rick with Smart Drive Test talking to you today about shifting theory for non-synchromesh transmissions. In your car or light truck a manual transmission is a synchromesh
transmission, which essentially speaking or simplistically speaking means that
you could go down the road at 100 kilometers an hour, take it out of fifth gear stick it back
into first and it’ll go into first… you don’t want to let the clutch out, but
it’ll go back into first. A non- synchromesh transmission on a big truck
you can take that stick out of high gear and try to put it back into first gear… you’ll break the
stick off before it goes back into first gear. It is the driver’s job to synchronize
the transmission. In order to do that you gotta line up 1) the gear, 2) the road speed,
and 3) the engine speed. Those three things have to match or it’s not going to go
into gear. So today, we’re going to talk to you about shifting a non-synchromesh
transmission and the theory behind it. [OPENING CREDITS & MUSIC] Hi there smart drivers welcome back. Rick
with Smart Drive Test talking to you today about shifting theory for a non-synchromesh transmission. This is for drivers going to driving school and
learning how to drive a big truck. And this particularly is directed towards 13-
and 18-speed transmissions. I will cover some of the other transmissions, but for
the most part 13- & 18-speed transmissions. Now the first part of a non-synchromesh
transmission is the shifting pattern: reverse, low sometimes called bull – 1,2,3,4. So reverse and low or bull are up here. First, second, third and fourth – and what confuses students or causes challenges for students is that yes it is a basic 5-speed
pattern, but you drive it like a four speed – 1,2,3,4. The only time you’re
going to use low is if you’re starting off with a really heavy load—a set of
super B’s at a hundred forty thousand pounds or sixty three thousand five
hundred kilograms, or you’re pulling out of a loading dock, or just need to go
slow, hooking up to trailers and those types of things where you need a bit of control, and you use low gear or you’re starting off on a really steep grade and
you’re just trying to get the truck going. But for the most part you’re just going to
use first gear. Now to get to reverse and low, there’s a bit of a wall here. If you
pull the shifter over towards you, you’ll feel a bit of a spring there and that
way you’ll know that not only are you in neutral, but you also know where to
find low and reverse. As with all five speed transmission—no matter whether
it’s a car, light truck, or a big truck— the shifter rests between the two middle
gears. So for the purposes of a big truck it rest between first and second. If you’re
in your car or light truck it’ll rest between third and fourth, which are the
middle gears. So if you just let go of it in neutral and push it straight forward, it’ll go right up to first. Now you say to yourself, how do I get more gears out of
a 5-speed transmission? So the way that you get more gears on a 5-speed
transmission in a big truck is on the front of the shifter is the range
selector – down is low and up is high. The only time you use the range selector is
between fourth and fifth. So for fourth to fifth you push the range selector up—you pre-select the range selector—flip it up with your middle finger, push the stick into neutral, let go of the stick and push straight forward. It will go back into
fifth on the high range. So think of it like a downstairs and upstairs. The range
selector is the staircase that takes you up to the top five gears. On the top, you’ve got another five gears 5,6,7,8. So basically if you’re driving it like a
four-speed, as you will in a 13- and 18- speed, you now have eight gears.
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8. If you include low you now have a nine-speed and in the ten speed
transmissions, what happens is that instead of going back to the fifth gear,
which is up here, you go out of eight and over and down to low which will give you
ten gears. So those are the variations for eight nine and ten speed transmissions. However in this day and age, most of the
transmissions that you’re going to drive are going to be 13- or 18-speeds because
the technology has advanced and moved forward and they’re much more robust so
they’ve infiltrated the industry and really those are the most common
transmissions that you’re going to find on big trucks now. So you now ask
yourself we’ve got to eight, nine, or ten gears – ten
gears for the purposes of simplicity. How do we get 13, 15 or 18 gears? And what happens is on the side… on the side of he shift lever is the splitter. The splitter allows you to split the
gears in the top range. If it’s red, it’s a 13-speed; if it’s blue, it’s a 15-speed;
and if it’s grey, it’s an 18-speed. Now let’s just talk about 13- and 18- for just a
moment because 15-speeds are different than 13 and 18. So what happens in a 13-
speed is 1,2,3,4, flip the range selector up and go back to five – five, six,
seven, eight, and then what happens in the top range is that you can split each one
of the gears. So low-high, low-high, low- high, low-high. So you shift from 4th to
5th: 5-lo, push the splitter forward, take your foot off the throttle—break the
tension in the drivetrtain–wait a moment, let the RPMs drop a couple hundred rpm, back on the
throttle – it shifts to high. Pre-select back the low, shift to six like a normal shift, six-low six high – pre-select back to low – seven lo seven high, pre-select
back to low 8-lo 8-hi. So what happens is you get five on the
bottom… low 1,2,3,4 – range selector up to high, back to 5-lo 5-hi, six-lo six-hi,
7-lo 7-hi, 8-lo 8-hi. So you get five in the bottom, eight on the
top. 5 + 8 gives you a 13-speed. And that’s how you get 13-speed. Now how you get an 18-speed is that you can split all the gears on the bottom and all the
gears on the top so you get 10 gears on the bottom and eight gears on the top,
which gives you an 18-speed. Now an 18-speed is a glorified 13-speed. You’re
never going to split the gears on the bottom, unless you’re running around a
gravel pit, or you’re one of those Ice Road Truckers. You’re just not going to do it,
it’s too much work! So essentially, what you’re going to do
is a 13- and 18-speed transmission – both of these transmissions are going to be driven
like a 12-speed. 1,2,3,4 – four gears in the bottom, eight gears on the top – so it’s
essentially a 12-speed. And you’ve got to get your head around
that. And that will be your challenge at the beginning of learning how to shift a
non-synchromesh transmission. Now I’ll just touch on what a 15-speed is for a moment.
If you get in a truck and it’s got a blue button in it, it’s a 15-speed. Now
this is not a splitter in a 15-speed transmission. This is what is called deep
reduction. And the best way to explain deep reduction on a 15-speed is that
essentially you’ve got three tiers of five gears. Five gears way down in the
basement, five gears on the main level, and five gears upstairs. Most of the time
you’re going to drive a 15-speed like a ten-speed. 1,2,3,4,5, flip up the range
selector, back over to low—and for those of us who drive 13s and 18s and then get into 15- that’s very weird for us to go back to low—but back to low 1,2,3,4,5 shift it
like a ten-speed. Now if you get into a gravel pit or something like that you
need deep reduction, the best way to understand deep reduction in a 15-speed is
like four-wheel drive low and four-wheel-drive hi. That’s the difference. And it’s not
sequential, so if you’re in deep reduction in 15-speed you can’t go one,
two, three, four, five and then split up to the next gear and go the other five. It’s
more like up to five in the low low and then up to three on the next level. So
it’s a little bit strange, but if you ever get into a 15-speed, just kind of
play around with it and you’ll get use to it. But know that if the splitter is
blue it’s a 15-speed; if it’s red, it’s 13; and if it’s grey, it’s 18. And in this day and age
of non-synchronous transmissions, most of them are going to be 18-speeds. In a non-synchromesh transmission or
sometimes referred to as a “crash box”, the driver has to synchronize the
transmission in order to make it shift. And the way that you make it shift is
that you have to match the engine speed, the road speed, and the gear. Those three
things have to line up or it will not shift. And these variables will change
depending on the terrain, so you need to now pay attention to geography – uphill,
downhill. If the truck is slowing down going uphill you don’t need to give it as much throttle
to shift. If you’re going downhill, the road speed is going to pick up, therefore
you need to shift the gears faster or you need to skip the gears in order to
keep up with the accelerating road speed. The other thing about these three
variables—engine speed, road speed, and the gear–is that the engine speed is a
misnomer. It’s actually the gears’ speed and the transmission that we’re measuring the
speed of, but we don’t have any way to measure the gears in the transmission
and how fast they’re spinning, so we use the engine’s tachometer. The engine’s
tachometer tells you how fast the engine is turning over. Now in order to spin the
gears in the transmission, we have to reconnect the transmission to the motor
and you do that with the clutch, and I’ll talk about double-clutching here in a
moment because in order to shift a non- synchromesh transmission and to make
these three things line up, engine speed, road speed, and the gear you have to
double clutch, you have to reconnect the transmission to the engine in order to
determine how fast the gears in the transmission are spinning. One of the gears that we like the best
is fifth gear. If you lose a gear and you’re trying to recover and find a gear –
eighty-five percent of the time the transmission–a 13- or 18-speed
transmission–will go into fifth gear. So fifth gear—up here with the range
selector up, back to the first slot—fifth gear is your go-to gear. 85% percent of the time the truck will go back into fifth gear and you can carry
on. Sometimes it may not be pretty, but you
can get it back into fifth gear and go. As well, fifth is you’re up to the lights slow
gear. When you’re kind of idling up to the intersection, timing traffic, trying
to keep the truck moving, fifth is gear is the one you want–up to the lights slow gear. Fifth
is also the highest gear that the truck will idle in. You can take your foot right off
the accelerator and the truck will just kind of chug, chug, chug, chug, chug. Fifth gear is the highest gear that that truck will do that in – fifth gear. Finally, fifth gear is the first gear that the truck actually begins to accelerate – actually begins to pick up
speed. So we need to get through those first low gears as quickly as possible
to get up to fifth gear. Finally the faster you get through these
low gears, the better fuel economy you’re going to get on the truck. So move
through those first four gears fairly quickly up into fifth because we love
fifth. Fifth is that go-to-gear. It’s that happy gear! Its kind of like when you go
home at the end of the day and your partner looks at you and gives you a
wink and a nod – that’s fifth. So love fifth – fifth is the happy gear. One of the other things that we talked
about in trucking and in terms of shifting a non-synchromesh transmission
is progressive shifting. And basically progressive shifting was designed and
implemented out on the flat on the east coast, where there aren’t big mountains and whatnot. It works well on the flat – doesn’t work
so well in the mountains. In the mountains it’s more of a variation on
a theme. And my variation on shifting in the mountains is low range, low revs; high
range, high revs, because if you start climbing hills, especially if you’ve got a big load on, you’re going to have to bring your rpms up and compensate for drops
in road speed because of gravity. So progressive shifting is essentially
every gear you bring your rpms up 50 rpm. So if you started at 1100, shifting to
second and you bring it up to 1150 to shift to third and bring it up to 1,200
to shift to forth and so on and so on and so forth. However that doesn’t work so well here
in the mountains on the west coast in Canada and the United States, so
essentially what I tell students for the purposes of shifting, especially in low
range… can’t get the cap off the marker… 9-10-11. 1 to 2 is 900, 2 to 3 is 1000. 3 to 4 is 1100- 900, 1000, 1100. Now if you go to a driving school, different instructors are going to
have different interpretations of that. But that’s essentially what i say, “nine,
ten, eleven and once you get some practice, you should be able to move
through those first three gears fairly quickly. Pre-select the range selector and
back up to five. Once you get up to fifth gear, then you can start bringing the
RPMs up. Because you’re into high range – high range; high revs. You need to bring
the RPMs up 13-1400 RPM, once you get to 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th. You don’t need more than
1500 rpm in a big truck—a big electronic diesel engine. Unless you’re
climbing hills, you just don’t need more than 1,500. The peak power band on large
electronic diesel engines—and I know that different guys will tell you different
things–oh, it’s a Cummins, it’s a Detroit, it’s a Mercedes, whatever! It doesn’t matter – big electronic diesel
engines – the power band is somewhere between 1200 and 1500 rpm. I drove a
Peterbilt last fall within EPIQ engine – its Paccar’s own engine. The sweet spot
on that engine was between 1200 and 1400 RPM and there was actually on the
tachometer was a spot called the “sweet spot.” And it was right at 1400 RPM, so
keep that engine between 1200 & 1400 rpm to get maximum fuel economy. The other
piece on shifting a non synchromesh transmission in a big truck is the
clutch. Although the shifter and the clutch, and
everything else looks kind of the same as it does in a car or light truck, it
isn’t anything like it is in a car or light truck. And many a student gets in the
truck and go: “I got this!” And then they realize after the first lesson that it’s
going to be a lot more challenging than they ever imagined. So the clutch in a big truck: the top part is called the free play….
the next part is called the friction point… next part is called the dead space… and
the last part—right up against the firewall here, that’s the firewall—is
called the clutch brake. So the four points of the clutch: 1) free play, 2) friction point, 3) dead space, 4) and the clutch brake – right at the bottom. Top of the clutch is the
freeplay. Nothing happens there – next point is the friction point: the friction point is where the engine begins to reconnect with the transmission and the vehicle
moves forward. Behind the friction point is the dead space. The dead space is where you hold the clutch when you’re waiting at a traffic light or waiting to go. So
it’s in behind the friction point is the dead space. At the bottom—right up
against the firewall—is the clutch brake and the reason that we have a clutch
brake in a non-synchromesh transmission, is you have to engage the clutch brake
to get the vehicle into a starting gear; whether that’s first, second, third, or
reverse. Whatever you’re starting gear is, you’ve got to push the clutch all the
way to the floor, pause, hold, and put it into your starting
gear. If it won’t go into the starting gear, hold the selector against the gear,
and ever so gently let the clutch out until it drops into gear. What happens is
that the gears don’t quite line up, and it won’t go into gear, so you’ve got to
just rotate the gears a little bit. So hold the stick against the gear, and then
ever so gently let the clutch out and then just push it back into the dead
space. You have to double clutch – so essentially what that means is that you
have to clutch once in, pull it into neutral, another clutch and push it back in
and then pull it into gear. So once… one clutch into neutral, one clutch into
gear. And the reason that you do that on the up shifting is because you gotta
spin the gears in the transmission in order to keep the gears up to speed to
synchronize the transmission. So you got to double clutch: once into
neutral; once in the gear. And if you’re having trouble
coordinating that shift with the clutch because you’ve got to coordinate the
clutch as you’re pushing it in—ba dump, ba dump, ba dump, ba dump—you gotta coordinate those two things and if you’re having trouble with that go home
get a chair and a toilet plunger, stick it on the floor and practice with your foot
and your hand—ba dump, ba dump—because that coordination is important in order
to get it to double-clutch. Now the other thing that is very weird for students is
that you only push the clutch in that far—one inch—just enough to break
the plate tension in the clutch. If you push the clutch in any farther
than one inch, what happens is you begin to engage the clutch brake. And when you
engage the clutch brake, it slows down the gears in the transmission and you get a
rough sift. So you only push the clutch in one inch—ba dump, ba dump—and what I
tell students for the purposes of shifting a big truck, put the seat back
farther. That way you’re less inclined to push the clutch in too far. And what
I’ll do is I’ll put a card up here for you on how to adjust your air ride seat
so that you can adjust the seat so you’re not inclined to push the
clutch in too far. The other piece about the clutch is that in order to take off
in a big truck, you don’t need to give the vehicle any throttle in first gear when
you’re taking off. You just gently let the clutch out–control the clutch–and
the vehicle will start off on its own. The electronic diesel engine will torque
up all by itself. Even in a car or light truck, the electronic fuel injection will
torque up the motor and start to bring the RPM up. So clutch control is really one of the most important things in driving any manual
transmission, whether it’s a synchromesh or a non-synchromesh transmission. The last piece for students is being
able to downshift and downshifting poses the greatest challenge, not only to
students, but drivers generally. And I think one of the biggest reasons that
students and professional drivers don’t understand how to downshift is because
they don’t understand the mechanism behind downshifting and what actually
happens in the transmission. Now there are two or three ways of doing this and
different instructors will show you different ways of how to do this. And
they’re teaching you how to double clutch and we get into a hybrid form of
how to downshift. The way that I teach students how to do it is to use the
clutch…to double clutch. So you clutch into neutral, clutch into gear. And the
reason you do that is because the transmission tends to be more forgiving.
Other instructors will just teach you to clutch into neutral and then throttle up
and let it and sort of match the gear. They call it tickling – you just kind of
tickle the gear until the RPM comes up high enough that the selector will drop
into the gear. It works and you can teach students how to do it, but I
find that if you double-clutch down and push the clutch in to put it into gear
when you throttle up, it’s just going to make it easier for
students because the transmission tends to be more forgiving. It will depend on the instructor that
you’re with when you go to the driving school, however. So what happens in terms of
downshifting in a big truck with a non- synchromesh transmission? So first of all
when you shift up, say for example, we shift from 5th to 6th gear and we go up to 1350 RPM. So in fifth gear, we go up to 1350 RPM. When we drop to six, when we put the
transmission in 6th gear—we’re not splitting for a moment—the engine rpm
drops to 1050. So what happened was that we went from the maximum of the
lower gear to the minimum of the higher gear. So we went from the maximum of 5th
gear into the minimum of six gear. We went to 1350 on fifth gear and then we
shifted to 6 at ten-fifty – maximum to [RRRRRRRRRRRRRNNN, RRRRRRRRRRRRN, RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRNNN] And this is what happens when you shift any standard transmission. What happens in terms of shifting down is is that in a
big truck it’s different than what most people do: most people shift down to slow
the vehicle down. In a big truck you gotta slow down to gear down. You gotta
slow down first and essentially what you’re doing is you’re bringing six gear
down to its minimum rpm. Shift into neutral at the with the clutch, let the clutch out to
reconnect the transmission to the engine, throttle back up 300 RPM to 1350, push
the clutch in, put it into gear and it will go into the maximum of 5th gear. When
you downshift, you got to do the reverse of what you did going up. So when you
shifted from 5th to 6th for example, you went up to 1350 in fifth gear and then shifted
to sixth gear and the RPMs drop down to 1050. Now when you go back down, you got to do the reverse and you got a brake to slow the vehicle down, which will bring
your engine rpm down to 1050. When your engine rpm goes down to 1050, push the
clutch in, put it into neutral, let the clutch back out, throttle up—and that’s a little
challenging for students when your throttling up when you’re slowing down—so that’s a bit strange, but you gotta throttle up to spin the gears in the
transmission and bring them back up to 1350. So that you’ll match maximum of 5th
and then push the clutch in and put it into fifth gear. So you’re doing the
reverse of what you did going up to down shift. And it’s a little bit odd. Now the other thing to keep in mind is you
gotta slow down to gear down in a big truck. So you gotta slow down first and
then down shift. And what I tell students when the downshift – the easiest thing to
do is every time you downshift, you need to bring it down to at least a thousand
rpm. The lower you bring the tachometer down when you slow down to gear down, the less you have to rev it up and the easier it is to downshift. So bring it down to a
thousand or less. Now geography, as well is going to impact
your downshifting and you’re upshifting. Now for downshifting, if you’re going
downhill, what’s going to happen is your road
speed’s going to pick up as soon as you put it in neutral, so you have to
compensate for that. And the way that you do that is bring your engine rpm right
down to 800 or 700 RPM. Bring it down a couple hundred more than what you
normally would. That will compensate for the pickup in road speed when you dump
the transmission into neutral. So it’s imperative when you’re driving a
non-synchromesh transmission to pay attention to geography because uphill-downhill is going to impact the speed of the vehicle, which is going to change one
of your variables: your road speed, your engine speed, and the gear. And you’re
going to have to make allowances for that and change one of the other
variables. For the purposes of the road test, you need to downshift to fourth gear, which
is down over here. So you need to push the range selector down when you get to
fifth, and go down to fourth. You only have to go to fourth. For the purposes of
a road test, you have to demonstrate that you can shift between high range and low
range. Some instructors will get you to shift all
the way to the basement – all the way back to first gear. You don’t have to do that, just shift
down to fourth gear. As I said, for the purposes of a road test you have to
demonstrate you can shift between high range and low range – high range to low
range is just 5th to 4th. Once you get to fourth, and it starts to lug down, just push the
clutch in, come to a stop and leave it in gear until
you come to a complete stop for the purposes of a road test. And then put it
back into first gear and you have to hold the clutch in the whole time that
you’re stopped because you need to be prepared and ready to go when the light
changes. One last note on learning to drive a big
truck and shifting a non-synchromesh transmission. It’s not a spectator sport! You are not going to learn how to drive
a non-synchromesh transmission from this video. This is going to help and give you
some understanding of what’s going on down there with the clutch and the
shifter and the engine and the transmission and all of that sort of
thing, but it is not going to teach you how to drive. Diving a non-synchromesh transmission,
driving a big truck is not a spectator sport! You gotta put time in the seat, you gotta
practice and that’s the only way that you’re going to learn how to do it. And not only do you got to work the
clutch and shift the gears – there’s all the rest of that bit of driving that
goes along with it as well. So, seat time, not a spectator sport! Get as much
practice as you can. You’ll be amazed at what three months in the seat will do. In conclusion, shifting theory. All
transmissions are basic 5-speed patterns. What allows a 5-speed transmission to
become a 10-speed transmission is the range selector. Down for low, up for high.
The only time you use the range selector is between fourth and fifth.
You’re going from 4th to 5th, pull it up, andf shift to fifth. If you’re going from fifth
to fourth, push it down before you come out of fifth and it’ll shift as you go
through neutral. And you’ll hear it after you get a bit of practice with it, you’ll be
able to hear the transmission click from high range too low range as you’re
moving through neutral. Unlike the other gears, it can be fairly quick–ba dump, ba dump. Fourth to fifth it’s ba dump… ba dump. There’s a bit of a pause in
there… less than half a second just to allow the transmission time to
change gears. The splitter gives you 13- or 18-speeds. If you get in a 15-speed
it’s going to be a blue button. So it’s red, blue, or grey. Red is 13-speed, blue is
15, grey is 18-speed. The clutch is very different than most clutches that you’re
going to find on a car or light truck. Top of it’s the freeplay, the friction point, the
dead space and then the clutch brake. Clutch brake has to be engaged only for
starting gears. After that you only push the clutch in 1-inch because if you push
it farther than one inch you start to engage the clutch brake. When you engage the
clutch brake you to slow the gears down in the transmission and you’re going to get a
rough shift. So it’s tap-tap tap-tap teaspoon… tappy tappy. And what I tell
students is ot push the seat back farther than you normally would, that way you’re less inclined to push
the clutch in too far because this is one of the major adjustments for
students is to stop pushing the clutch in too far. One of the other things that you have to do as well is you have to double-clutch: once into neutral
another clutch into gear—ba dump, ba dump, ba dump, ba dump—and if you’re having some trouble with that, go home get a chair, get a toilet plunger, put it down and
then practice that coordination – ba dump ba dump, ba dump ba dump. Once with your foot and once with your hand. So you have to coordinate those two things. It’s
a little bit strange at the beginning when you start double-clutching,
especially if you haven’t had any experience before. So for
the purposes of shifting a non- synchromesh transmission, it’s up to the
driver to synchronize the transmission. You have to match the engine speed, the
road speed, and the gear. Those three things have to line up. And as well,
geography is going to start having an impact on your shifting because downhill-uphill is going to affect the road speed. Therefore you have to adjust the other
two variables to compensate for that. Now the other thing that I was going to tell
you is clutch and throttle work independently of one another. They cannot
work together: ones on, one’s off, one’s on, one’s off – wax on wax off. And the engine
speed is a misnomer – it’s not actually the engine speed that were worried about
when we’re shifting the truck. It’s the transmission speed, but we don’t
have any way to measure the speed of the transmission gears in a non-synchromesh
transmission. So we use the engine’s tachometer. The engine’s tachometer
measures how fast the gears in the transmission are spinning, but in order to
spin the gears in the transmission, we need to reconnect the motor to the
transmission via the clutch. The clutch pedal has to be out, especially when you’re
down shifting and throttling up. Make sure the clutch is out when you’re throttling up. And again the last piece: and
this goes for any manual transmission, not just a non-synchromesh – don’t ride
the clutch. As soon as you finish shifting the gear, get your foot off that clutch.
Because there’s two plates in there and what happens is if you got your foot on
the clutch at all, the two plates start to separate. When the two plates start to
separate, they begin to spin against each other
and it causes the clutch to wear out. So don’t ride the clutch in any manual
transmission vehicle. You can feather the clutch on a starting gear if
you’re backing into loading dock or something like that, but most of the time
in a big truck, if you’re going too fast and find yourself feathering the clutch
you’re in too high of gear – find a lower gear. The last piece for non-synchromesh
transmission: when you’re down shifting, slow down to gear down. It’s different
than normal cars and light trucks. You got to slow the vehicle down— bring the
RPM all the way down to a thousand to downshift. For the purposes of a road test you only gotta shift fifth to fourth. You have to demonstrate you can
shift between high range and low range. And just to reiterate the last point:
learning how to drive a non synchromesh transmission is not a spectator sport! You got to put time in the seat. The more time you put in
the seat, the more proficient you’re going to become. I’m Rick with Smart
Drive Test. If you like what you see here share, subscribe, leave a comment down in
the comment section. All of that helps us out. If you need more help or you have
some more questions about shifting a non- synchromesh transmission or there’s just
something that you’re really grappling with leave us a comment down in the
comment section. We will be more happy to get back to you and give you a hand to
get shifting that vehicle. Question for my smart drivers: when you started
learning how to drive a non-synchromesh transmission, what was your biggest challenge in
learning how to shift a non-synchromesh transmission. For example, was it
downshifting, was it double clutching – which part of learning how to shift a
non-synchromesh transmission gave you the most grief. I’m Rick with Smart Drive Test. Thanks
very much for watching. Remember pick the best answer, not necessarily the right
answer. Have a great day. Bye now. [CLOSING CREDITS & MUSIC]

100 thoughts on “How to Shift a 9, 10, 13, 15 or 18-Speed Transmission | Truck Driving

  1. Bless your heart, Mr. Rick, this video, and especially the bit of getting the speed below 12 mph to downshift from 5 to 4, is a lifesaver. I was able to do it easily on my test on Thursday (which I passed, by the way), while I struggled with it during all my training. Downshifting by ear and feel, like my trainer did, required experience I don't have yet, so it was great to learn the theory behind. Thank you so kindly.

  2. this video is incredible. understand so much better. much thanks. you're smart, but more than that, you know to explain/teach… so important thanks

  3. Hey brother would you mind doing a video on how would one shift an 18spd w/ a 4spd AUX trans.? It'd be nice to actually see it in action.

  4. I float gears and use the clutch for take off. Downshift I brake with my left foot and float using throttle.

  5. Respect to all the truckers who do this with finesse every single day … WHILE keeping safety and professional behavior top priorities. Other drivers on the road have no idea… that's just the way it is but this video helps.

  6. I was, for a short time, a otr driver in automatics. I had previously trained in manuals and could get by but didn't get enough road time to be proficient. I have watched your video two or three times and each time get a better understanding. I would like to get in the seat of a manual now and see if I could put the knowledge to good use. Thanks for your very understandable explanation on the subject.

  7. Awesome video.with a spread axle load I skip gears everyday with our 13speed. When I'm pulling an 8axle grossing 160k in Michigan, I use all 13 gears.

  8. Been driving truck off and on for 42 years. I had learned how to float gears when I was a teenager and have never double clutched. I’m a seasonal driver now and will be getting back into my truck in April. I’m going to take some of your double clutching technics and give it a try. If not I’ll keep floating ‘em.

  9. And then once ya got all that figured out somebody sticks ya in a 15 over and switches 3rd and 4th around. I worked for a fleet had 100 identical KW and 2 had 15 over Just to wreck yer head at 2 am in a snowstorm.

  10. So, basically, a big truck as two gearboxes in cascade (one with 5+R gears, and one with 3 gears), but the things get a bit complicated here because of it being a non-synchromesh (i think the torque values the gearbox has to deal with makes synchromesh a non-viable option) and a lot more complicated because of the load. I never drove a semi, but i found out really quickly that braking without pushing the clutch is a very good habit in small car driving, too (specially on slippery road conditions).

  11. Wow. Great instructional video! My dad drove trucks and he always made it look easy yet confusing. This really made it much more understandable. Thanks

  12. Best explanation of shifting these transmissions I have seen! Very good job. Now the 5, 6, 7 and 8 speeds. Then we can go thru the various 2 stickers!

  13. U ARE A Truck driving /shop teacher !!! downshifting biggest problem for everybody they tought us the rev. It up technique hard to work 3 peddles at the same time with two feet. And they never told us about clutch break (thank u)!!! I went to trucking school 10 years ago 23 years old. (Out of pocket passed but no job) ouch $4500 . Know going back different school 34 years old wish me luck. Thanks FOR THE VIDEOS!!!!

  14. I learned by being thrown in a log truck when I was 17 never had it explained to me but this would have helped out a lot lol. Still very useful best tutorial I've ever heard

  15. Idk where he gets that 13 and 18 speeds are most common. I’m a mechanic and by far the most common transmission I see is the 10 speed.

  16. Well I know a Truck with an Interesting Gearbox. It has 8 forward gears + 1 low forward gear and 1 reverse gear, but without Range selector and without a splitter. And it's not so hard to drive ^^

  17. I drove a 5 speed split axle straight job but never knew about the two positions of the clutch, and was having trouble shifting a non-syncro transmission once and couldn't git 'er done!!
    Now I know why!! Tanks!

  18. I have heard of a 15 speed with 5 on the low side and 10 on the high side basically a 10 speed version of a 13 an you confirm if these exsist

  19. This guy is a natural teacher, it all made perfect sense. Even if he says this video isn’t enough i feel like i have the right tools to get behind that wheel. The rest is practical i guess…..

  20. Excellent video, no fancy graphics and animations- just old fashioned explanation with a whiteboard! Great job!

  21. Don't know anything about big rigs except to stay out of there way. So here is my dumb question, why don't they make automatic transmissions

  22. Do I pat my head and rub my belly between shifts??!!! Great video though. I think I would have to just do it to fully understand.

  23. What do mean I won' t learn to drive from watching your video, I figured I would just put my phone on the dash and play your video as I go. LOL just kidding. Great learning video though Thanks.

  24. Excellent tutorial sir! Not a truck driver, but I was always confused with how the range selector and splitter works but I'm a lot clearer now.

  25. Hmm, think ill go find an old junker truck to buy and make a daily now just for the hell of it. Just if forget the high and low. Simply throw it into high 5th and then high 6th

  26. Wish this was around when I was training! Thanks for taking the time! I float but I keep a truck for 3-4 years.

  27. Wonder if he ever drove a 4/4 or 5/4 two stick transmission? There is a point where you have to use both hands. You had to know what you were doing especially up hills and soft roads. 😂

  28. Eaton-Fuller, should be really easy to shift without using clutch? Except for starting from stop(driving trough soft soil).

  29. I have a question about the 15 speed Fuller Roadranger RTO 6613. I've never been around one of these transmissions before. What should happen if I try to go from LL5 to 6th gear by raising the splitter switch to high gear? I just bought a 1994 Gradall 660E with this transmission and when I'm shifting from 5th to 6th, it act like it is not in gear. (I'm thinking it may be still in the "basement gears" LL5 and it will not go to the high gears.)

  30. Excellent explanation. I have tried so many times to give this explanation to people and after 10 seconds they just stare at me. Do you have a video for a 5 and a 4? That would save me hours. Thanks for the great video. And you are way more handsome than Red from that 70's show.

  31. Holding the clutch pedal in at a red light will prematurely burn up the throw out bearing. The clutch pedal is not a foot rest, do not leave it there, up against the free play, that is a bad habit, that will cost money. Also the stick is not a hand rest to help you balance in the seat. That will also end up in premature failure of other trans parts.

  32. If you don't know what kind of trans you are driving, there is usually a sticker with a diagram of the shift pattern, on the sun visor. There are many brands and models of trans, not all patterns are the same.

  33. Good video, Back when we were just thrown in a truck and learned on the job.
    If you really want to mess with new drivers minds, show them a tri-plex or due-plex with overdrive.

    Like a 6×4 over or 6×5. Have seen the 13×4 with two speed rear end. Hell, some of the older trucks had air clutches and air starters. God help you if you lost your air pressure. You had to fill the tanks up just to start from another truck or bottle. R model Mack tri-plex with a 237 engine I learned how to shift on a 725-mile trip as the Boss said, I would know how to shift it when I got back.

    Drivers today have it made from when drivers like me started. No AC, No Bed, (Slep laid down in the seats or if you were lucky at one of the truck stops that had cots to sleep on.)No power steering, Length law was 55' and up the Mississippi River was the old weight limit of 73,280 pounds and everywhere else was 80,000 pounds or more. Oh, and the pay was 9-12 cents a mile or 15-20% gross depending on the company you worked for.
    Great video and I think it will help a lot of today's drivers learn a standard transmission.

  34. You said at the start light vehicles have synchromesh so you could in theory go from top to 1st but my ford anglia has no synchromesh on 1st so that's not always true. And my friends arrol Johnstone pickup has no synchromesh at all.

  35. Think of driving a 18 like you're starting off driving a straight 10 and finishing in a super ten. That's how I remember the gear pattern.

  36. Shifting gears is an art not so many get it..shame that skill will be lost with these automatic transmissions.

  37. I learned on a 67 Fraightliner 8-71v with 2 speed axle and 9 speed trans. That got interesting at times.

  38. I drive a Freightliner with an Eaton Fuller 10 spd. I never double clutch but often I will push the clutch in a couple inches to take it out of gear before revving for my downshift. I've shown this to a few drivers on my team and now they do it also. It just makes for a smoother quicker downshift.

  39. Can you please say everything one more time, I got a bit confused. 5th gear is 4th gear so what is 4th gear ? 5th gear?

  40. I been driving for 5 years. It doesn't matter if its an 8 , 10, 13, or 18 speed. I can drive. I love shifting gears

  41. I got my CDL with a auto restriction and I've been very curious about how I might go about getting that removed. Because everytime I see those older trucks with those loud exhaust screaming by, I get goosebumps at the thought of actually driving one of those lol. But idk how I would go about getting the restriction removed. The new trucks that I drive are armed with a impressive array of technology but its not all that cool

  42. Downshifting has a opposite logic to all smaller vehicles. After all these years I am finally beginning to understand. I have driven 10-speeds in the oil fields since 1980, winch trucks mostly.

  43. 🤔🙄🙄🤔🤕🤕🤕🤕I have a much easier to explain: AUTOMATIC GEARBOX! 😂
    – Really now best way to explain it! You do it great job Thanks man! 👍😎

  44. Never driven a big truck but i know understand why its so easy for truckers to lose a gear in the mountains. I knew non syncro trans required more skill but jeez thats a lot to keep track of. Im sure it becomes second nature after a while but still

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